Friday, October 17, 2014

Piper's First Road Trip and Flea Market Adventure

I meant to get this post written right after our return from the road trip we took weekend before last, but I didn't...bu I am now.  Truth be told, besides my usual business, I've been trying to catch my mom up on watching The Walking Dead so I can begin the new season already!  Just 9 more episodes to go and she'll be all up to date.  Although I have already seen all previous episodes, she insists we watch them together and refuses to watch them alone, like I did, in bed, on the laptop, after the wee-one had gone to bed.  No, she's not a scarred of the zombies, she just likes the company and the conversations that go along with watching the show together.  In other words, she likes to continually ask me what's going to happen next since I've seen it all before.  And she continually gets shot down because she has to wait just like I did to see what happens next!  But yeah, besides taking up a lot of my free time, that really has nothing to do with the trip we took the other weekend or this post, hehehehehe.  So, on to the point...

My dad got a wild hair up his bum and decided we should take a little overnight road trip to go flea-marketing.  Flea-marketing is something we have always enjoyed, and add a bonus overnight stay and who can resist, right?  So, we packed up our gear, headed out early Saturday, well early for us that is, and hit the road for some fun.  We actually didn't travel all that far from home, just a few hours at best, but part of the adventure was letting Piper enjoy staying in a hotel room, her second time only for such a treat.  While this time we weren't in a five star joint, it was still fun to watch her light up with the prospect of being somewhere completely new.  And surprisingly, she also handled the driving pretty well.

We have yet to take on her on any long trips for fear she would act like a wholly terror in the car. You just never know what a toddler is capable of while on the road until you try, so this was also a test to see if she would enjoy the car ride, scenery, eating out, and behave in an acceptable fashion as to not make us want to leave her at the nearest truck stop.  Needless to say, she was a little angel the whole time!

She never complained during the whole trip, even when eating out she acted relatively respectable. We've had a few issues lately where we've tried eating out at times when she was just too worn down, and we ended up having to get our food to go.  I am not one of those parents that will just sit there and let my child throw a fir or cry while others are trying to enjoy their dining experience.  It's my responsibility to remove the tired toddler from the restaurant and just suck it up.  It's par for the course when you have a little one and you can never predicted when a smile can turn into a very loud complaint, which usually stems from exhaustion, teething, bad timing, etc.

She did not eat like this for a change!
The first place we dined is a Southern staple, Western Sizzlin'.  Now, when you are out in small-towns in the South, your dining choices become very limited to mostly fast food and maybe a chain or two mixed in with some mom and pop places, if they are still open.  We figured this choice in restaurant was a safe bet.  Lots of food choices for her (salad bar, all the other food bars, desert bar) and she could eat free.  Piper loved having all those choices, but surprisingly her favorites came from the salad bar. Actually, that's not that much of a surprise since she loves raw veggies.  Cucumbers, pickles, tomatoes, cottage cheese, various fruits...those were her go-to items.  She tried other things, but those things always make her happy.  I tried to get her to eat a frog leg, but that she wasn't quiet ready for just yet. I'm glad she stuck with the more healthy selections that she's used to eating, good girl!

After eating, we went to the hotel room for the night as the flea markets in the area close at 5 and we didn't have time to shop until the next day.  Piper loved staying in the hotel room.  She especially enjoyed being rolled back and forth across the floor and spun in circle in the desk chair.  This was like her own little amusement park ride.  She also did very well using the big potty, yay!  We ran off an forgot her potty chair, but luckily I keep a padded one that fits on big potties for public restroom use in her diaper bag.  She used it like a pro all weekend and actually took her first poop in the big potty, a feat that I am very proud of!

Working on her first big-potty poop!
Nothing is sacred around these parts!
Telling us all about it!
Even when she poops she's adorable!
After a fun night playing in the hotel room and cuddling in a remarkably soft bed, it was time to set out on our shopping adventure.  But first, breakfast!  Since we hadn't run across one of these in forever, we ate at the local Huddle House.  Once again, Piper was on her best behavior, for the most part, as it was her first time in a booster seat instead of a high chair and she was very curious about all objects on the table.  I tried to get her to eat some french toast with strawberries on them, but she only picked at these and opted for her usual eggs instead.

After breakfast, we hit our first flea market.  We decided it would be best to keep Piper in her stroller as flea markets can have a lot of breakable items laying around, along with a lot of sharp and dangerous tools, but she didn't mind being cooped up.  She enjoyed all the sights and people watching, and people admiring her, too.  This first market is where we found her a few children's books, one of which was from my childhood and I could not remember the name, only the exotic artwork of strange birds.  I had actually been ransacking my brain for over a year or so trying to find or remember the title to this book.  Low and behold I pulled it right out of a massive collection of books in one booth.  It's in horrible condition, but for $1 I purchased it anyway and can now search for a better copy online since I have the title and author.  It was kismet, for sure!

We also found Piper an awesome purple Hobby Horse, which she adores!  And for myself, I have this desire to discover odd and/or old board games.  As luck would have it, I found one title Awkward Family Photos board game.  Oh yeah!  It was still in it's plastic wrapping and I cannot wait to play it with my nieces next time they stay over.

Totally freaking awesome, right?!
We all managed to find something at this market, but soon it was time to leave and head to the next one.  We had spent so much time in the first one that we almost didn't stop at a second because Piper fell asleep in the car cuddled up with her new horse.

Sleeping with her new Hobby Horse!
Luckily, she awoke just as we came across one on our way home that looked rather interesting.  I am SO glad we stopped at this one.  Number one reason, they had vintage clothes!  I bought a wonderful, velvet vintage Cloche hat ($25) and perfect condition Guess winter coat ($30) along with a very nice long, black skirt that will go perfect with my sweaters this winter ($6).  My mom also found a few items she liked in the clothing department, as we are both addicted to vintage and/or retro clothes at a bargain.

Besides the clothes, I also found Piper an adorable hand-painted wooden and wicker kids chair.  She loves her new chair and drags it around the house.  She also likes to sit backwards in it and topple over backwards on purpose.  She definitely knows how to amuse herself.  I'm thinking we got something else, but for the life of me I cannot remember what, which means it probably was not mine or Piper's.  But all in all, I was very happy we decided to stop at this shop as it was a hidden gem!

You can barely see the chair, but she is sitting on it!
After this final shop, we headed home to rest before beginning the new week.  Piper was a doll and behaved the entire ride home.  I consider the trip a success story of her ability to handle longer road trips.  I so want to take her to the aquarium in Dallas, so that will most likely be where our next adventure is heading.

And as for now, I'm wrapping up this adventure so that I may be ready to write about the next one occurring tomorrow...the Pumpkin Patch!  It's the same one we visited last year, which you can read about in my post Pumpkins, Pig Races, and Hayrides...Oh My!  It was a great adventure last year, but this year Piper can walk!  I imagine she will be running wild and I'll be snapping pics.  We're taking her cousins Larkin and Haven with us.  In addition, my friend is going to be there with her family and little boy who is about a year older than Piper.  I imagine they are going to have so much fun together as Piper very rarely gets to play with kids her own age.  So definitely stay tuned for that post, as it should be a awesome!

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And if you stuck with everything, here are a couple more pics of Piper with her new Hobby Horse taken at home!

Awwwwdorables!
She's a cutie-patootie!
Now go and enjoy your weekend, and as always, thanks for stopping by!


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Friday, October 3, 2014

Dirt is Good for the Soul

Piper has officially burst into full toddlerhood!  How do I know this?  She has discovered the wonders of dirt!  I mentioned her discovery of dirt in a previous post not too long ago (The Perfect Day), but I was unable to take any pics of her new discovery.  Well, it's probably best because she has upped her dirt game since then!

Whenever the weather is nice, we all like to sit out back on the deck and have family time.  Besides just sitting around, this time also includes wandering around the yard, picking tomatoes and whatever other veggies are growing this season.  This year it's just accidental tomatoes...thank you bird poop! My dad is the usual veggie grower, but this year he had total knee replacement surgery and was down during planting season.  But the birds were kind to us and pooped some tomato seeds in another area outside the usual garden and voila, surprise tomatoes!  Besides picking tomatoes, we also have a couple of fig trees that the birds and raccoon's have not yet demolished completely this year, so we have those to pick, too.  But really, all of that is beside the point, let's talk about dirt!

Since the usual vegetable garden is nothing but soft, dry soil this year, Piper discovered that it's a wonderful place to sit and play.  She throws dirt in the air, puts it on her head, pretends (so far it's just pretending) to eat it, puts it in mama's hair, and generally just bathes in it from head to toe.  I really cannot wait to discover what she can do with mud.  If she thinks dry topsoil is fun, she's going to love muddy puddles!  In case you didn't catch it, that's a reference to Peppa Pig, one of her favorite shows. Everyone likes jumping up and down in muddy puddles. Don't ya know?

I was lucky enough this time around to get some pics of Piper playing in the dirt.  I also remembered to take a video of what she left behind in the bathtub afterwards.  There was so much dirt in her hair she looked like a brunette.  I also had to pull out the extendable shower head.  Thank goodness for mobile ones with a long reach, because the dirt was not coming out of her hair by simply pouring water over it via a cup.  We had to bring out the big sprayer, which she thoroughly enjoyed as it was her first time under the shower nozzle.  It took quite a few rounds of high-powered rinsing to begin seeing her blonde locks again.  She was truly filthy as humanly possible!

So, without further adieu, I give you Piper in dirt!

Seriously contemplating what next to do with dirt...
Discovering the various items embedded within the dirt...
This year we had Doodle-bugs in the dirt!
Feels so good running through the fingers!
She did this over and over again...
oftentimes right over the top of her head, too.
Slamming the dirt down with force is equally enjoyable!
Checking to see if anyone is looking...
Maybe just a quick taste?
Believe me when I say her hair got worse than this!

I'll wrap things up with the dirty-tub video.  I really am astonished at how absolutely filthy she was! Dist even fell out of inside her socks and her diaper.  She loves bath time, so she lucked out having a second bath before her dinner.

Seriously Dirty!

Well, I knew this wasn't going to be a long blog, and I was right.  I've decided to try writing some shorter blogs between the longer ones so that I maybe that will help me balance my blogging, family life, and very hectic work life.  This moment was too precious not to write about, and I look forward to Piper's next new fantastical discovery!

Until then, please drop me a vote via the links below and visit my other social sites!  Take care and happy Friday, woohoo!!!!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Toddler Milestones 16-24 months

Piper just had her 17-month birthday yesterday, amazing right?  Time is just flying by, and as you have probably noticed I have still not found a way to integrate work time, Piper time, and blogging so that it all flows evenly.  First on my list of importance is Piper (where all my nights and weekends go), then work (where all my day goes), than the blog (where any free time I can muster on a slow day or those lucky days when Piper actually takes a nap on the weekends go).  Oh, and there is "me" time, too.  Sometimes I just prefer when I get that fleeting moment where I am free of all necessary obligations, well at those times I often do something for me, such as watch a movie, read a book, play a computer game (not a serious gamer but I like adventure and hidden object games, they relax me), or get caught up on my stories, aka TV shows via my secret Internet sites.  But all of this is besides the point of this post.  I'm just so slow on posting these days that I feel the need to explain my blog silence every time I finally get to write.  I know, it just wastes the precious moments when I could be getting to the damned point, I know!  So, without further blabbering like a nutcase, I'll get to the nitty-gritty.

Okay, I have to interrupt myself here...it is now the 26th, her birthday was on the 10th, that's how long it has taken me to get this dang thing put together. Another reason why you will find out here in a bit I decided to cut this blog short and divide it into 2 segments, but you'll read about that later.  For now, let's jump back in time to the 11th for awhile...after 18 months we will be back to today again, lol!

This post has a purpose, that is to take a look at toddler milestones and reflect where Piper is at this stage in her development.  Yes, part of this is braggarting (a new word, add it to my personal dictionary!).  She's well ahead of most milestones for her age, and some way beyond her age. Part of this is also meant to be informative.  Many parents I know constantly wonder where there child is compared to the "norms" of development.  Now who decides these "norms" I couldn't tell you.  I'm presuming they're based on medical/psychological/biological/social science research.  As you may know, I'm a researcher by trade so therefore it's a constant in my life to want to find out more.  I'm always on the lookout for new source materials.  For this post, I'm using a great chart I found on a website that I thought represented the best compilation of information I found across sites.  Geez, I'm beginning to write like I'm at work again...let it go Ashley!  Anyways, I'm going to examine toddler milestones as they pertain to Piper's development from 16-36 months of age.  Feel free to examine your own children, too, but remember it's not a race to see who has the smartest baby...we all know that we all do, cause as parents we see our children as the best around.  So therefore they are all ahead of the game!  But in all seriousness, we all really know that Piper is a smart little wacky child that marches to her own drum and is far ahead of the milestones she's supposed to be at right now.  And I am really using this to mark her development for future reference when she's flunking her first class in school and can show her how smart she was once and nag her that she's not living up to her potential...it's going to happen, it happens to every parent at some point, right?  And as she is a bit of a wild child trouble maker right now, I can definitely envision principle office visits in her future...they do run in the family!

So, now that that is all out of the way, let's get started.  First off, 16-month milestones...


As you can see from the header, each age has three developmental milestone levels- Mastered (most kids can do), Emerging (50% of kids can do), and Advanced (a few kids can do).  This header will apply to every age level I post, so keep it in mind as we go along.

And since I began writing this, and it;s taken so long to complete, I've actually changed my methods and style as of this moment...and believe there is a lot of writing below this sentence so I'm hoping most of it won't change too much.  Anyways, I decided to make the visuals a bit more readable to at least myself and color code the milestones.  Here's how it works:

1) Circled in red = Piper has been doing this for 6 months or longer
2) Circled in purple = Piper has been doing these things for 4-6 months
3) Circled in blue = Piper has begun doing these things within the last 2-4 months
4) Circled in pink = emerging skills within the last 1-2 months
5) Circled in green = these will have special notes-- some have never been skills she's adopted, and some are not answerable because the opportunity has not arisen to test them (that last one will explain itself when I get to an example)

So, now let's have some fun!

At 16 months, Piper had all of the first column beat for several months before 16-months.  She's been turning pages of books for at least 6 months now if not longer; although she's generally well behaved, she does know how to throw a tantrum, especially when it comes to eating something she's forgotten she finds delicious until you get the first bite into her mouth, although that particular style of tantrum is more recent, I'd say around 3-4 months now; and she's been attached to Pig since last October, which would have put her at 6-months of age.  She's attached to all of her stuffed toys, but Pig is #1, forever!

As for column two- yeah, she's been experimenting with climbing for a couple of months.  First it was climbing off of things, such as the bed, sofa, chairs, etc., then it moved to climbing onto things...same general objects apply there.  She also at around 16-months started using objects to climb higher, such as standing on her potty chair and such.  Since I began writing this her climbing skills have gotten ridiculous.  I was a climber, so it's only natural that she follows in my footsteps. Hell, my parents found me on top of the refrigerator when I was just a little older than Piper is now, so there ya go!


She received her first set of blocks at Christmas, but has just in the past couple of months really started stacking them.  But once she started, she was a pro.  So far her record stack was 13 blocks high!  That's above a 3-year-old level for stacking.  Mind you these were 1" x 1" wooden blocks, not big massive blocks.  She has now begun experimenting with her multi-shaped block set and is getting into architectural design...as much as a 17-month old can, that is.

My first picture of her Piper's amazing stacking ability!
This was her stack of 10, which soon became 13 on the next go round.
As for the using objects in the correct manner, well she must be a genius here, too.  She new the correct way to use a telephone at 8-months-old, she got several various toy ones for Christmas last year, although she was using other objects as phones before then, so imagine her thrill when she finally got some "real" ones!  She knew instantly how to use the pacifier that came with her Daisy doll at Christmas, and there are numerous other examples I could go on about but I think this blog is going to be long enough as it is!

Well, she sure knows what to do with drum sticks!  Always has!
And for the advanced skills column-- she's not really into getting undressed by herself yet, but then again she's usually in a dress with buttons that she couldn't possibly manipulate since they're behind her back.  I'm now adding a new sentence here, because since I began writing this she has now started taking her shirts and/or onesies off by herself as ling as she has her arms out of the holes.  And she takes her pants off while sitting on the potty.  For some odd reason it's impossible to use the potty whilst wearing pants!  I guess I should have read ahead as I already covered her temper tantrums about food, so that covers that.  And as for that sleep thing, Piper has never taken two daytime naps, much less getting her taking one a regular basis.  I'd say her inability to nap during the day probably directly correlates to her being more advanced on some things.  After all, she is awake and on the move more hours of the day, which allows for more exploration of her world.

Okay, now onto 17-18 months!


Okay, for this section I will do both months at the same time by column....I like mixing things up a bit :)  I will also number the items and highlight them in their circled color so you don't have to scroll up and down...see, I'm learning as I go!

Mastered skills 17 months-

1) Uses a handful of words regularly- let's just say Piper had over 40-50 words by her 9-month check-up.  She now has a vocabulary that includes up to 4-word sentences at times and hundreds of words.

2) Enjoys pretend games- Piper has been pretend playing since sometime around her 8th month.  She was using her fake cell phone and other phones correctly at Christmas, she pretend fed us and her dolls, and she was making up her own games, such as "Piper Says" that she used to play during meal times since as far back as I can remember!

While this is a new video, I just adore it!

But if you want a younger video, 
here's peek-a-boo at 11-months!

3)  Likes riding toys- well, she has been enjoying her rocking butterfly since around 8-months old.  Now she can mount and dismount without anyone's help.  As for other riding toys, she likes to push them while running at full speed, riding is just to slow for her.  And wouldn't you know that since I started writing this she has started sort of riding her rolling pony around.  She still prefers to push it, but she could roll around on it if she wanted to do so.

Her first pony riding toy!  
She was 8-months at Christmas.

Emerging skills 17 months-

1) Responds to directions- she has been doing this for several months now, can follow multiple directions at once, and is now giving directions as well---she's a little turd that way!

2) Feeds doll- see #2 Mastered skills 17 months- yeah, since she was 8-months!

3) Talks more clearly- with her non-stop communication, I'd say most definitely, although I'm not 100% sure how this is measured. so I'm just measuring her speaking skills against herself.  I do find it amusing that she does have her own language besides her regular spoken English.  It's plain enough, has a vast vocabulary, we just need a translator from another galaxy to help us grasp the entirety of its syntax.  Weirdly enough, it also gets more clear and more finely tuned as she gets older.  She's a funny little thing.

Advanced skills 17 months-

1) Dances to music- Piper has been doing this since she could stand and that's been quite awhile ago now considering she started walking at 11-months.  Before she could stand she would dance while sitting.  I was a professional ballet dancer in my younger years, so it's fitting that she's so into movement and music.

Dancing to Thriller at 10-months old!

And at 15 months...

2) Sorts toys by color, shape, and size- she's been doing this for a few months now.  She doesn't do a lot of it, but I've witnessed her separate out her blocks and lids (the ones with animals on them from the Gerber baby foods) before.

3) Kicks ball forward- she's started doing this right around the time she turned 15-months.  I think the first time was definitely an accident, but she picked up on the skill very quickly.  I actually was supposed to circle this one in blue but did it wrong and didn't feel like going back to change it, so please forgive the color coding mistake in the chart...at least I color-coded it correctly here :)

Mastered skills 18 months-

1) Will "read" board books- Piper, for the past few months, has been picking out her own books and sitting down with them for some quality alone time.  So yeah, she's got that one nailed.

Reading a book in her crib!
2) Can pedal when put on a trike- I have no idea about this one as she does not own one or have access to one...maybe Santa will surprise her with one this year!

3) Scribbles well- this girl has been coloring with crayons since around 5 or 6 months.  She got her first finger paints at 8-months and now uses all mediums including water colors and sidewalk chalk. Finger paints are still her favorite, though, but she does sometimes incorporate a paint brush while using them.  She's a fine artist.

Who can forget this masterpiece done back in May?
That means Piper was only 13-months old when she painted it...awesome!
Emerging skills 18 months- 

1) Strings words together/phrases- she began putting two-word sentences together a couple months ago.  Now she has moved to sometimes 3-4 word phrases.  They aren't as prevalent yet, but they continue to expand daily.

2) Brushes teeth with help- since I started brushing her teeth at the first emerging tooth back in October, she grasps the tooth-brushing concept and very much likes to help.  I'd say she started helping at 15 months, maybe a bot sooner.

3) Builds a tower of 4 cubes- Well, as you may have seen from pics on FB, she's was up to 13 blocks at 15 months...and she did this while taking a poop in the potty...how's that for skills?  She is now beginning to experiment with design elements and various shapes for stacking.  Architecturally speaking, she is way, way advanced!  Like on the level of a 3-year-old! Seriously, wait till the 36 month stuff.  Hahaha, I just reread the stacks 3 "bricks" under the 16-month skills sets.  Bricks?  I'm assuming that refers to those big rectangular paper box style ones we had back when I taught preschool.  Yeah, she skipped over those and went right to the smaller blocks.  And yes, I'm beginning to repeat myself because I'm still amazed at her stacking ability!

Advanced skills 18 months-

1) Throws ball overhand- this is another skill she picked up back when she was around 12 months old.  We've been playing catch since she started using the potty at 11-months, and this skill emerged soon after.  She is now pretty deadly with her throw, especially since her aim is a wild card and she prefers wooden balls over the plastic ones at times!

2) Takes toys apart and puts them back together- she's been working her puzzles for a few months now, but mostly she likes to destroy them more than put them together.  She does have some larger sized Lego-style square blocks, and those she's pretty adapt at putting together and taking apart again. Note, these are not the ones she stacked the 13-block tower with, that would be cheating!

3)  Shows signs of toilet-training readiness- I think everyone knows by now that she's been using the potty since she was 11-months!

Love this pic from her 1st birthday...
she had been using the potty for a month already!

Now onto 19 months...


Mastered skills 19 months-

1) Can use a spoon and a fork- Even though Piper has been working at this skill for quite some time, she has just recently mastered it within the last month.  She can now actually keep the food on the spoon and/or fork and put it in her mouth without any help whatsoever.  She still sometimes prefers to eat with her hands, but who doesn't, right?

2) Can run - Piper started running the moment she started walking, at 11 months.  I'm serious folks, this girl runs all the time!  She's like Forest Gump when it comes to running!


3) Can throw a ball underarm - Piper began throwing underarm around the time she began using the potty, so sometime between 11 and 12 months old.  I was torn between the red or purple circle on this one.

Emerging skills 19 months-

1) Half of speech may be understandable- Once again, this one was a hard one to judge.  Piper has always been very good with her pronunciation of words, but in the last 4 months she has really stepped up her game and bigger and longer words are becoming more prevalent and clear.  She actually likes to over exaggerate a lot of her words, which is just too damned adorable!

2) Recognizes when something is wrong (calling a dog a cat) - First off, I didn't make the chart so don't grammar Nazi me on the misspelling, lol.  Secondly, one of Piper's favorite words for quite some time now is "no."  So, she's been letting us know when something is incorrect for what feels like forever now!

Advanced skills 19 months-

1) Can was and dry hands and brush teeth with help- I've been brushing Piper's teeth since she cut the first one at 5-months-old.  In the past couple of months she has become a very good little helper, and sometimes quite the demanding little helper when it comes to brushing her own teeth.  As a matter of fact, she is beginning to want to do the job all by herself now, but mama's not having that! As for her hands, she loves playing in the soap and water, and can now rub them together without any help at all, but I still help her for the most part.

2) Can point to a picture of a cat or dog when you say the word-  I'm actually shocked this is an advanced thing for a 19-month old since Piper has been pointing at named objects/things/animals in books for so long now, and not just cats and dogs, either.  I couldn't even begin to count the number of things she can name on her own much less recognize them and point to them in a book.

3) May know when she needs to urinate- Some of you may be shocked that I'm listing this as an emerging skill since she has been pottying since she was 11 months.  But, that knowing when to tell us that she needs to go has just come about in the last month or so.  It's not completely consistent, hence why she is not 100% fully potty trained yet, but every day she gets a little bit better at the pre-warnings.  And she knows when she needs to poop, too!

Onto 20-21 months!
Okay, I think now may be a good place to re-show the color coding to avoid too much scrolling:

1) Circled in red = Piper has been doing this for 6 months or longer
2) Circled in purple = Piper has been doing these things for 4-6 months
3) Circled in blue = Piper has begun doing these things within the last 2-4 months
4) Circled in pink = emerging skills within the last 1-2 months
5) Circled in green = these will have special notes-- some have never been skills she's adopted, and some are not answerable because the opportunity has not arisen to test them (that last one will explain itself when I get to an example), and some she doesn't posses yet.

Also, I'm going to skip over any items that are repetitive from now on.  If I've already explained where Piper is at on a skill from it being listed in a previous month, I'm not wasting time repeating myself...I'm sure you will all appreciate it in the end.

Mastered skills 20 months-

1) See 17 months

2) Can take off own clothes with help- I kind of spoke to this at 16-months, but this one is phrased a bit differently.  Piper is really beginning to help a lot more with taking her own clothes off.  It's still an emerging skill, but it advances daily.

3) Will throw away old objects such as rubbish, in imitation- Piper just doesn't pretend to do this, she also does it on request with real trash.  She very much like to help with the cleaning sometimes.  As a matter of fact, if she finds what she thinks is "rubbish" on the floor, say a string or wad of cat hair, she will bring it to you for you to throw away, too.

Emerging skills 20 months -

1) Learns words at a rate of ten or more a day- Piper is definitely on the fast track of vocabulary building.  Everyday when I come home from work she has new words.  And as far as her understanding of language, well she probably learns way more than 10 words a day and has been doing so for quite a few months now.

2) Can walk up (but probably not down) stairs- I am presuming here they mean with help, as I am too nervous of a mom to let her go bounding around stairs all by herself.  I'm listing this as emerging in the past couple of months because she does walk up (and down) stairs with assistance...I hold her hand cause I don't want her to fall.  The going down just began, but the going up has been around a bit longer.

3) Searches for hidden objects- Once again, how is this an emerging skill at 20 months?  Piper has been searching for objects since before she could walk, maybe even crawl.  We used to play find the Cheerio under the lid game at dinner time...put a Cheerio (or other treat) under one of three baby food jar lids, shuffle them around, and have her find where it is.  She was actually eerily good at always guessing correctly.  Maybe I should take her to Vegas?

Hunting for Easter Eggs!- just turned 12 months!
Even knows to look inside eggs for hidden treasures!

Advanced skills 20 months-

1) May start exploring genitals- Yes, I will admit it, Piper has discovered her hoo-hoo!  She doesn't overly explore, but she's keenly aware that it's there.  Yay, my daughter has is way advanced when it come to genital exploration...makes a mama proud!  Yes, that was extreme sarcasm!

2) Draws straighter lines - Piper loves to color and she has begun to draw straight lines along with her crazy other methods of coloring.

3) Names several body parts- Piper could name over 10 body parts at 10 months!  I think she can pretty much name them all now...including her hoo-hoo!

Mastered skills 21 months- 

1) See #2, emerging skills 20 months

2) See #3, mastered skills 20 months

3) Can set simple goals (e.g., deciding to put toys in a certain place)- I'm not sure if this is an emerging skill of hers or if it's been around longer.  She has always had certain buckets or boxes for certain toys, and she has pretty much been deciding where to hide her toys for months now...she has lots of hidey-holes around the house.  I think now she's becoming more sophisticated in her placement of toys, so that's why I'm keeping this highlighted in pink.

Emerging skills 21 months-

1) See #1, 18 months advanced and #3, 19 months mastered
2) See #3, 17 months advanced
3) See #216 months emerging and #3, 18 months emerging

Advanced skills 21 months-

1)  Can name a cat or dog when you show a picture- Piper can name more than just a cat or a dog when shown a picture!  She's been naming objects from pictures for over 6 months now.  In books, on blocks, on walls, on cards, wherever pictures may be!

2) See #1Emerging skills 18 months

3) Can walk down stairs- When I began writing this and color-coded the chart, this was a skill I hadn't let Piper try yet.  Now is should be in pink as she is now walking down stairs while holding someones hand.

Next up - 22 months!


Mastered skills 22 months

1) Not going over this one again!

2) Follows two-step requests- Piper is now up to three step requests, but who's counting, right?  

3) Imitates others' behavior- I'd say she's been doing this since around 4-5 months of age, a very long time now.  However, she now can imitate much more elaborate behavior and sequences of behavior.

Emerging skills 22 months

1) Can do simple puzzles - I think I've already gone over this one, but Piper has been playing with puzzles for a few months now.  She prefers to take them apart, but she also knows how to out them together when she wants.

2) See #2, advanced skills 20 months- Not sure why it is blue in the chart above, because her drawing straight lines is an emerging skill as mentioned previously.  Just an oops, I'm not going back to fix it either, bwahahahahahaha!

3) See #3, advanced skills 20 months. 

Advanced skills 22 months- 

1) Can put on clothing- She's not into this yet, although she does help when I dress her.

2) Might be ready for a big bed - Since she has been sleeping in mine since she outgrew the co-sleeper, and now she can get out of bed just fine by herself (been doing so for a couple months now)...and probably in if it was lower to the ground, I'd say she's definitely ready for a big bed.  But, she's not getting one yet as she wouldn't stay in it anyway, she'd just be right back in my big bed.

3) Understands opposites - I'd say she's been grasping opposites for about 4 months or so now.  Up-down, hot-cold, yes-no, in-out, front-back, etc...she loves The Yo-Yo and Peanut Show on Baby TV.  It's all about opposites.

And now...23 months!  I'm getting exhausted writing all this...I've just decided to end this segment at 24 months and publish the 25-36 months in the next post.  Who knew this would take so long?


Mastered skills 23 months-

1) 13 bricks at 15 months, that's all I'm saying!

2) See #1, advanced skills 21 months.

3) See #1, mastered skills 17 months.

Emerging skills 23 months-

1) See #1Emerging skills 18 months

2) Can sing simple tunes - Piper loves to sing!  She has been sort of singing for months now, but over the past few she's begun adding the correct words in.  you should hear her sing the opening to Olivia the cartoon!

3) Takes more of an interest in playing with other children- Piper doesn't have really anyone her own age to play with, but she love playing with her older cousins (6-16 years age range) and has for at least 6-months now if not longer.

Advanced skills 23 months-

1) See #3, advanced skills 21 months

2) Talks about self (likes, dislikes)- In the last few months Piper has gotten quite an opinion and will let you know when she likes and dislikes things.  She has also begun using the word "me" when talking about herself instead of calling herself Piper.

3) Asks "Why?"- Not sure why I didn't circle this one, bit it should be circled in green as she had not yet started doing this, thank goodness!

Okay, we're down to the last month for this post...month 24!

And here is the color chart one more time, just in case you need it!

1) Circled in red = Piper has been doing this for 6 months or longer
2) Circled in purple = Piper has been doing these things for 4-6 months
3) Circled in blue = Piper has begun doing these things within the last 2-4 months
4) Circled in pink = emerging skills within the last 1-2 months
5) Circled in green = these will have special notes-- some have never been skills she's adopted, and some are not answerable because the opportunity has not arisen to test them (that last one will explain itself when I get to an example), and some she doesn't posses yet.



Mastered skills 24 months

1) This question is just embarrassing!

2) See #1, Emerging skills 19 months.

3) See #1Emerging skills 18 months

Emerging skills 24 months-

1) See #2, advanced skills 23 months.

2) Can arrange things in categories- This is a difficult question to answer.  I've seen Piper sort things into colors and shapes, things like that, so I'm marking this in blue for the length of time she's been doing that.  However, I haven't yet tried asking her to put all the animals who can fly in one pile, and those with four legs in another...things like that, you know.  So, in a ways, this is both a skill she's had for awhile but it is also one she is constantly showing more sophistication with.  I'm going to go home and see just what she can do tonight!

3) Not this one again!- remember she just started doing this before I could finish writing this, so it should no longer be green but pink.

Advanced skills 24 months-

1) Begins to understand abstract concepts such as sooner or later- Yep, she just this month really started grasping onto this idea.  It all started with after you go potty, then you'll get booba...things like that :)

2) Becomes attuned to gender differences- I had this in green as I did not know if she really grasped the concept of boys and girls being different.  If you ask her if a picture in a book is a boy or girl. or do the same with her cousins and aunts and uncles, she can tell you which are which.  But does that really means she grasps the entire concept?  This could be pink, but it's such a difficult question to answer.

3) Learns to jump- Piper has been jumping in the bed since before she could walk, but she has yet to start jumping while standing on the ground.  She is trying to learn how to do that trick at this moment in time.  So, depending on the definition here, it's either an soon to be emerging skill or one she's been doing for at least 6 months.

I cannot believe it, I'm finally finished with this post!  I'm not even going to go back and re-read for spelling and grammar mistakes.  I will later, but just now now.  Right now I just want to get this one out of my  hair for awhile.  It was going to go to 36 months, but it's so long I'm dividing it into two segments.  The next one will be months 25-36, so stay tuned for that one. In the meantime, take a few moments and go vote via the links below and then check out my other social sites, too! 


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